You have probably heard that men are supposedly incapable of multitasking while women find it easy to work in this way.
The truth is apparently that no one can multitask brilliantly, and the more often you try, the more distracted you‘ll become.
You may find this hard to believe - after all, we're often encouraged to think of multitasking as a good thing, particularly at work.
In fact many people feel guilty about turning off their electronic devices and focusing on only one task at a time (staff especially).
This is however, the secret of efficiency and accuracy, focusing on one task at a time.
Multitasking is false economy.
When you believe you're doing two or more things at the same time, what is actually happening is that you're switching back and forth from one task to another. This is because the human brain is incapable of performing two cognitive tasks simultaneously. You do this so rapidly that you are generally unaware of it, but the effort of switching your attention between tasks, even simple ones, costs time and mental effort.
Dr David Meyer at the University of Michigan found that when individuals attempted to perform two or more related tasks simultaneously, it took them up to twice as long to complete both than it did when they worked sequentially.
Meyer also noted that when we multitask we also increase the chance of making a mistake.
There is yet another downside to multitasking. If you allow phone calls, e-mails or texts to interrupt you while working on something else - you lose considerable time getting back to your original task.
If that is not enough, it seems that multitasking can adversely affect your learning.
No More Multitasking!
Hope you made the NZPPI conference as there is some significant developments happening that could affect all our businesses, hope you got to have your say.
Malcolm and the Lyndale Team